Saturday, January 24, 2009
New pictures from the pro-life procession on the feast of the Holy Innocents (Manhattan) in December and the March for Life in Washington DC.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:29 PM Permalink
The Holy Father is making a tough decision...
Bishop Richard Williamson is being reconciled to the Catholic Church. He was in schism by being ordained a bishop without the permission of the Pope in the Society of Pope St. Pius X.
This is the sort of the thing the Vatican ought to anticipate -- that Williamson has been speaking in public minimizing the Holocaust and endorsed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion -- and apart from the schism -- he would be required to repudiate those views.
There are few things that I consider beyond discussion and these are two of them. The Protocols are a ridiculous fiction originally targeted at Napoleon III and the French. (Wikipedia) and silly notion that a mere 300,000 Jews died at the hands of Nazi genocide. There seems to be no popular conspiracy theory that Bp Williamson doesn't believe.
I have a genuine concern on two levels when a person who not only holds these views privately but discusses them publicly. First, the pulpit of a Catholic bishop in fill communion with the Church is the wrong place to give to someone to propagate these views. Adding the authority of a bishop to these views helps the promoters of anti-Semitism spread these lies.
Secondly, and this is the one that gets the 20 point headlines. It is ammunition for everyone who sees that the Catholic Church is anti-Semitic. And this time, they have a point. The dismissal of these charges by the media people in the Vatican is insulting.
Asked about Williamson's comments, chief Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said they were "totally extraneous" to the lifting of the excommunications.Personal opinions matter and Father, you should have had a better response prepared to this issue. Those opinions cannot and should not be defended.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:32 PM Permalink
AP: Vatican criticizes Obama on abortion issue
Vatican officials said Saturday they were disappointed by President Barack Obama's decision to end a ban on federal funding for international groups that perform abortions or provide information on them.
This was expected and I think, could have been expressed better. The mistake that the Monsignor makes is belief that this is Obama's arbitrary decision. I think the comment on arrogance and disappointment is properly directly towards the 18 million Catholic American voters who voted for Obama. Obama is merely acting on the mandate given to him by the electorate.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:13 PM Permalink
More on FOCA
The bill does not contain a mandate that Catholic hospitals perform abortion against their mission or that doctors and nurses perform abortions against their consciences. However, the absence of a conscience clause allows regulations to be written to contain such mandates. They will have to be litigated and perhaps allow the courts to "write in" a conscience clause into law. More likely however, the courts will endorse the regulatory mandates because the conscience clause is not in FOCA.
The literal text of the law is not the only matter before us. We have to look at the inevitable consequences of FOCA passed without a conscience clause. Several state laws have such conscience clauses.
When Supreme Court in Roe v Wade overturned every state law it was not mandated that 50 million unborn human children would die as a consequence. They did not know that. We can know the consequences of FOCA passed without a conscience clause. We know that Catholic hospitals, doctors, and nurses will be forced to perform abortions.
To your point, Alexander, if a conscience clause is not required for Catholic hospitals doctors, and nurses to remain free to choose not to perform abortions, why is there such an objection by abortion advocates to its inclusion?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:25 PM Permalink
Friday, January 23, 2009
Another FOCA rebuttal
Will FOCA"force taxpayers to pay for abortions" and "force Catholic Hospitals to perform abortions or be shut down?"
The pro-abortion claims this is misleading.While the federal government is currently restricted from directly funding abortions, several states directly fund abortions. FOCA would repeal the Hyde Amendment which implements this restriction. http://www.nchla.org/datasource/ifactsheets/4FSHydeAm22a.08.pdf
So yes, with the Hyde Amendment repealed, "taxpayers would be forced to pay for abortions" as they now do in 17 states.
The legislation lacks a provision for hospitals, doctors, nurses, and pharmacies to choose to not abort the unborn -- a conscience clause. This allows abortion advocates to later litigate a mandate to provide "comprehensive health services" (i.e. abortion) on a so-called non-discriminatory basis.
"Freedom of Choice" is Orwellian in eliminating the freedom of health care providers to choose not to kill the unborn.
So yes, with FOCA, without a conscience clause, Catholic hospitals will be forced to shut down. (They will not perform abortions.)
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:35 PM Permalink
Snopes and FOCA: Correcting an error
The comment on that if FOCA is passed:
"Partial birth abortions would be legal and have no limitations."
is correct and the rebuttal is incorrect.
The definition of "health" in the context of abortion legislation and litigation needs to be explained to the reader:
"Health" is a not a medically or juridically defined term. It is self-determined and not subject to any review or any advocacy for the unborn child. This was mandated by Doe v. Bolton 410 U.S. 179 (1973), another Supreme Court decision. The psychological stress associated with any pregnancy, planned or unplanned, meets the low standard for "risk to the health of the mother" The practical consequence of this that allowing a law to be enacted that has a "risk to the health of the mother" exception is essentially permitting an abortion for any reason or no reason. Laws with a "health of the mother" restriction have not, do not, and will not restrict abortion.
FOCA will remove the existing restriction on partial birth abortion.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:49 PM Permalink
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
So nice, they said it twice. I don't get the "12 more balls" reference Washington Post: Obama takes oath again
After a flawless recitation, Roberts smiled and said, "Congratulations, again."Now, if only we could get a look at the original birth certificate on file in Hawaii. I would be satisfied.
Oh! Inaugural Balls. Never Mind....
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:03 PM Permalink
Monday, January 19, 2009
These are likely (and I hope Bush grants them) Alberto Gonzales, Scooter Libby, Ignacio Ramos, Jose Compean
and not for Ted Stevens and Duke Cunningham.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:25 AM Permalink
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Fox 5:Flight 1549 Wreckage Becomes Tourist Attraction
The wreckage of the US Airways Flight that went down in the Hudson River has become something of a tourist attraction. Fox 5's Lisa Evers talked to people who couldn't get over the miracle of all 155 people on board surviving the crash.
It is finally out of the Hudson River so life on the West Side can get back to normal. Reporters stand out in the cold and say stuff like "Here, 24 hours ago..." -- and there's nothing to see there now. It's a report that could have been given in the cozy studio, but you need to have video showing that the reporter was there. Perhaps there will be a plaque place on the riverfront to memorialize the event.
Labels: new york
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:59 PM Permalink
NRO Corner: Jim Boulet has died
Jim Boulet was the head of English First. Where I live is the most multicultural census tract in the United States. Americans of European descent are now a minority here, so I have always followed the groups which support English as the primary language for creating a cultural unity and identity for America.
I know many more immigrants (legal and illegal) than the average New Yorker and that's saying a lot. They love the opportunity and quality of life here. On the down side they also see a huge opportunity in scamming the government for benefits, even some which they might legitimately qualify for.
One thing for certain is that the ability to read and write English is the critical skill to get employment above the most menial level. I hope the children raised in my neighborhood see it as their home and not merely an address.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:57 PM Permalink
I put my avatar through the Obama poster maker
You can try it out here
Labels: internet obama
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:11 PM Permalink
Madoff was a pure Ponzi scheme
It had been expected that Madoff in order to evade the auditors and SEC maintained some sort of real trading operation so that the profitable trades could be pointed to a evidence this was not a Ponzi scheme.
It turns out the Madoff did not attempt to cover his tracks in this way. A Ponzi scheme is a fraud where the early investors make a profit on their investment -- their reported success is the fuel for subsequent investors and in the process of this the promoter withdraws a large part of the investment.
What's necessary for the scheme to work is some plausible reason why the scheme:
The first Ponzi scheme was based on international money orders denominated in foreign currecy.
Madoff claimed that he could make money in the stock market with something called a "split strike conversion" (you can google that term). As everyone else has written this is a strategy that generates small returns and has some protection if the market dives -- it's not a strategy that generates consistently profits as Madoff subscribed.
If this was a true Ponzi scheme, why did all his employees need to go to work for? Were they all duped into thinking they were making decisions what to buy and sell with the investors capital?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:29 PM Permalink